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National Medical Commission Bill is being misinterpreted, govt needs to clarify: Cardiac surgeon tells CNN-News18

As the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill was tabled in the Parliament, the Indian Medical Association called for suspending routine services on Tuesday to protest against the bill.

The NMC Bill seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body. It also proposes to allow practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, practice allopathy after completing a "bridge course".

However, Devi Shetty — a cardiac surgeon — told CNN-News18 that the bill was being misinterpreted and ayurvedic doctors were not going to be allowed to practise allopathy.

"Nowhere does it (the bill) mention that an ayurvedic doctor can do a bridge course for two years and become an allopathic doctor. It is not part of the bill. If ayurvedic doctors are allowed to be allopathic practitioners, it is unacceptable. And I think it is being misinterpreted," Shetty told the news channel.

On the other hand, IMA president Ravi Wankhedkar spoke against the bill and said the government was treating people in rural areas like "second-class citizens".

"These half-baked doctors will be sent to rural areas. Are rural folk second-class citizens of this country? If this government is really serious about increasing the number of doctors, it should start government medical colleges," Wankhedkar said. "You (the government), by this bill, are only promoting privatisation of medical colleges," he added.

"Regulations stipulate that it should cost around Rs 400 crore to set up a medical college. No state government in the country can afford to build a medical college. Main reason for shortage of doctors is the unrealistic regulations imposed on colleges," Shetty said in response.

He also said the bill should be supported because it was good for the people of India. "We should look at what is good for 60 percent of the rural population," he said.

"I think they should clarify certain points. They have to clarify what exactly it is. There is a lot of amibiguity. Some kind of amendment or clarigication. But this bill will make a big difference in delivering health in rural India.

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Updated Date: Jan 02, 2018 14:58:17 IST

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